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A Lot More Than Great Beer is Brewing at Old City's 2nd Story Brewing Company

Most people dive into homebrewing well after they have established a love for the hoppy and malty suds of craft breweries, large and small. Armed with knowledge of different hop strains, yeast strains and malt properties, beer fans turn to homebrewing as a way to further explore the rapidly growing world of craft beer. Others, like John Wible of 2nd Story Brewing, pick it up with little prior knowledge of the craft, but end up sucked deep into the rabbit hole of brewing.

Wible, 2nd Story’s brewmaster, took, what most would consider, an alternative route into the craft beer scene. He wasn’t crazy about craft beer when he started homebrewing, but instead, he and his friend started brewing because it seemed cool and like a productive way to spend their time. They began their brewing adventures with a pumpkin beer in January of 2009, and the brews haven’t stopped flowing since.

After the first brew, Wible began researching different ingredients, recipes and guidelines for all kinds of beer styles by tasting, brewing and reading. Ales and lagers, IPAs and porters, Wible was hooked. He didn’t set out to be a brewer, but then again, most of us don’t grow up thinking we’ll be brewers either.

2nd Story Brewing is one of Philly’s latest beer-centric additions. The brewpub opened in October in the Old City building that used to house Triumph Brewing Company. Four standard, year-round beers as well as upwards of four seasonal beers are always kept on tap. 2nd Story’s four standards include the Evolve IPA, the Root Cellar Helles, 5 Mile Ale, which is an English mild, and 117 Pale Ale. If you ask, Wible probably won’t tell you his favorite beer, since that’s a pretty difficult question for any beer lover, but he can point to Evolve IPA as both a beer he really likes, and a beer that he’s really proud of. Each batch of Evolve IPA uses different ingredients, so no two Evolves are ever quite the same. That could be a good or a bad thing, depending on how much you like the current batch. The one thing that is for certain, is that all of the 2nd Story brews are worth a try.

The brewery is also equipped with a full kitchen, and you definitely want to come hungry. Head chef, Rebecca Krebs, serves up more than just your average bar bites. Currently, the menu features hearty, comfort food dishes like Chicken and Biscuits, Beer Battered Fish and Chips and Ratatouille. Or you could opt for the Adult Grilled Cheese which piles apples, fontina, manchego, cheddar and applewood smoked bacon on Le Bus sourdough. Just be sure to save room for dessert. 2nd Story teamed up with their Old City neighbor, Franklin Fountain, to create beer-infused ice cream, which they use in a few of their desserts.

Music is also on the menu on Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Monday nights feature a jam session which invites local musicians to collaborate and have fun. Thursday nights usually feature a more laid back singer-songwriter performance, while things get a little more upbeat for the Friday and Saturday night crowds.

If you’re still looking for a reason to visit, how about $4 pints and $7.50 flights? The best part is you don’t have to show up within the usual 4–6 PM happy hour window to score this deal. Since no packaging and shipping is involved, 2nd Story can offer great prices all day, everyday. Great beer, great food, great prices– what more could a craft beer lover ask for in the heart of Old City? 2nd Story is open Monday through Saturday from 11:30 AM until 2 AM and on Sundays from 11:30 AM until 12 AM.

2nd Story Brewing; 117 Chestnut St.; 267-314-5770

Photos by Drink Philly


Tags: Beer, Food, Music
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